There Should Be Unicorns is a story about the power of imagination. Emily Gray (pictured) plays the lead role of Jasmine, an 11-year-old schoolgirl who wants to rebel. Photo: Tom Arran.

Hip-hop family musical to premiere at Stage @TheDock

A brand new hip-hop musical in Hull will encourage children to dress up as superheroes and unicorns.

There Should Be Unicorns, from Middle Child and Beats Bus, is a family adventure about a Hull schoolgirl called Jasmine, who sets out to make the world a better place through the power of imagination.

The free show is a mash-up of hip-hop, musical theatre and dance that premieres in Hull in May before heading on a nationwide tour of outdoor festivals.

The show has been created in association with Hull charity Beats Bus and is inspired by the story of co-founder Steve Arnott, who was the subject of Sean McAllister’s 2018 documentary, A Northern Soul.

Beats Bus deliver hip hop workshops to school children in Hull and Steve also stars in There Should Be Unicorns, as Jasmine’s dad.

Beats Bus deliver hip-hop workshops to school children in Hull. Photo: Victor De Jesus.

Steve said: “To work with Middle Child to create a theatre piece and also star in it is just mad.

“Their creativity is amazing and it makes me proud and humbled they want to tell my story in a Middle Child way.

“Expect the unexpected. Beats Bus meet Middle Child – it’s about to go off.”

The production is backed by regeneration company Wykeland Group.

Wykeland created Stage @TheDock, investing £750,000 to transform the former central dry dock into an outdoor performance venue.

Paul Smith, artistic director of Middle Child, said: “The world could really do with a reason to come together to celebrate joy and kindness right now and this free event will do just that for families in the city.

“Stage @TheDock is such a brilliant venue and we can’t wait to perform in front of a home audience before we head to festivals across the country.”

From left to right: Natalia Cleary, Emily Gray, Dominic Gibbons (Wykeland Group) and Paul Smith. Photo: Tom Arran

Four performances of There Should Be Unicorns will take place at 11am and 2pm on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May.

Tickets are free and will be made available on Wednesday 30 March, from Middle Child or Hull Truck Theatre.

You can find out more about There Should Be Unicorns here.

The production is supported by Wykeland Group, Without Walls, Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull City Council, Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston.